How Large and Long-Lasting Are the Persuasive Effects of Televised Campaign Ads? Results from a Randomized Field Experiment

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Suggested citation: 

Alan S. Gerber, James G. Gimpel, Donald P. Green, Daron R. Shaw (2011), Replication materials for ‘How Large and Long-Lasting Are the Persuasive Effects of Televised Campaign Ads? Results from a Randomized Field Experiment,’ ISPS Data Archive.


Daron R. Shaw, James G Gimpel, Donald P. Green, Alan S. Gerber

Research design: 
Data type: 
Data source(s): 


Data source information: 


Field date: 
May 1, 2006
Field Date: 
2006-01-05 - 2006-03-06
Location details: 
Unit of observation: 
Geo: DMA
Sample size: 
90 (18 media markets * 5 weeks)
Texas comprises 20 DMAs of varying geographic and population size. Of these, the campaign was willing to allow experiments in 18, regarding the other two (Houston and Dallas–Fort Worth) as too politically important to leave to chance.
Randomization procedure: 
In light of the heterogeneity of the DMAs, we matched them as closely as possible based on demographic and socioeconomic attributes and then randomly assigned members of each stratum into an ordering that indicated the start date of the broadcast television campaign (See online Appendix C for a list of these matches). Within each weekly rollout bracket, we randomly assigned the quantity of weekly GRPs to be purchased: 250, 500, or 1,000. The rollout dates were then given to the campaign's television media buyer, who arranged to purchase the quantity of broadcast TV ads that we specified for each DMA each week. (The experiment did not randomize the stations and programs on which the ads were placed. Broadcast TV ads were purchased in a variety of stations based on the campaign consultants’ strategic judgment.)
Texans for Rick Perry kicked off its campaign with an advertising message that highlighted the governor's accomplishments and charisma. In an attempt to appeal to a broad spectrum of Texas voters, the television ad sought to link positive images of the photogenic governor with voters’ pride in the state of Texas. The scenes sweep from Texas landscapes to a schoolroom to a doctor's office, with Governor Perry's voiceover: "I've never been more proud to call myself a Texan. In Texas we've set the national standard for economic development. We gained 300,000 new jobs. Lawsuit reform is bringing better healthcare to millions. We've invested ten billion new dollars in our public schools while improving standards of accountability for student performance. Our people are compassionate. Our vision, bold. Our values, strong. The best is yet to come. I'm proud of Texas. How ’bout you?" The radio ad followed a similar format but with more specific references to accomplishments.
Treatment administration: 
Outcome measures: 
Voter preference (ballot test)
Archive date: 
Owner contact: 


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Data file numbersort descending Description File format Size File url
D032F01 ReadMe file .txt 1433 Download file
D032F04 Dataset - main Stata (11.0) .dta 26726 Download file
D032F09 Dataset - main Excel .csv 21811 Download file
D032F12 Program file - main R (2.9.1) .R 7168 Download file
D032F13 Program file - means R (2.9.1) .R 1024 Download file
D032F14 Program file - match R (2.9.1) .R 3788 Download file
D032F15 Program file - figures R (2.9.1) .R 7680 Download file
D032F16 Program file Stata (11.0) .do 7987 Download file
D032F18 Output file R (2.9.1) .R 5662310 Download file
D032F19 Treatment Materials - Perry radio .mp3 2411724 Download file
D032F20 Treatment Materials - Perry TV .wmv 1887436 Download file
D032F21 Treatment Materials - Stayhorn TV .wmv 1153434 Download file
D032F22 Supplementary Materials - results Adobe Acrobat (8.1) .pdf 734003 Download file
D032F23 Output EViews .wf1 81203 Download file
D032F24 Dataset - match Excel .csv 5836 Download file
D032F27 Output .txt 17408 Download file
D032F29 Metadata (DDI 3.2) .xml 864426 Download file